A Surprising Number Of People Still Subscribe To Netflix's DVD Service

Zootopia DVD stand

Today, Netflix is all about movie and television streaming online. However, when the company first got started, its entire business model was based around renting DVDs to consumers. While you almost never hear anything about that side of the business now, it turns out that a lot of people still rent their DVDs from Netflix, to the tune of around 3 million subscribers to the service.

Those 3 million subscribers are a drop in the bucket compared to the 117 million subscribers that Netflix has around the world who subscribe to the streaming side of the business that provides both licensed and original content to view on demand. According to Variety, Netflix still makes good money off the DVD side though, over $50 million last quarter alone came from that side of the business. Still, people have been unsubscribing from that side of things at a steady rate, so, while the DVD rental business will likely still be around for a few years, it will close eventually.

If you rent DVDs at all, you probably do it through Netflix, mostly because there simply aren't a lot of other options. Before Netflix disrupted all of media by streaming content and creating its own original content, Netflix completely changed the DVD rental game by allowing you to rent movies by mail. It was the last nail in the coffin of traditional DVD rental stores that now barely exist in the world.

While it's a bit surprising that so many people still rent DVDs from Netflix, it certainly makes some sense. While Netflix, and other streaming services people have access to, have a massive amount of content available, they don't have everything and a lot more is available via DVD. While it doesn't give you the ability to watch whatever you want right now, if you get a particular desire to watch an old favorite that isn't available online, you can have it in a couple days. In addition, movies don't end up on Netflix until after they've been out on DVD for a while, so if you want to be able to watch a new movie sooner, you need to watch it on DVD.

Of course, while the DVD business may still be good, it really isn't where Netflix is spending its effort. It's all about creating original TV series and movies in order to boost the appeal of the Netflix streaming service in order to increase subscriber numbers.

At some point, the DVD rental service will close up shop and Netflix will say goodbye to the industry that helped it build the empire it has today, but for the moment it's still going fairly strong. Do you still rent DVDs from Netflix? Let us know in the poll below.

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Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.